Company Finds Many Applications For Hydro-Excavating

April 2013, Vol. 68 No. 4
A Goliath Hydro-Vac crew at a NuStar Energy pumping and storage facility near Wolsey, SD.

Even the most highly visible public works projects depend on improvements to and protection of the invisible underground infrastructure. That’s what keeps Goliath Hydro-Vac Inc. busy. The 10-year-old contracting firm based in Jordan, MN, uses a fleet of hydro-excavating trucks from Vactor Manufacturing to tackle a variety of construction and remediation projects that require special attention to existing underground infrastructure.

Located 30-miles southwest of the Twin Cities, Goliath Hydro-Vac currently provides hydro-excavation services to support the 11-mile Central Corridor light rail expansion connecting downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. When completed in 2014, the new route -- operating via Washington and University avenues -- will bring light rail service to five major commercial districts, the University of Minnesota, the state capitol complex and several area neighborhoods.

The Central Corridor route will become the second light rail line operated by the Twin Cities’ Metro Transit, connecting with the Hiawatha Line that opened in 2004 to provide mass transit from downtown Minneapolis to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America.

“The light rail line extension is an interesting and challenging project for us,” said Brandt Volk, founder and president of Goliath Hydro-Vac. “Working in an urban area with a lot of traffic and pedestrians requires a compact and maneuverable hydro excavator that is powerful enough to get the job done and provides the water capacity and storage capacity needed to stay on the job for a while.”

Volk’s hydro-excavation fleet includes one Vactor 2106 HXX Prodigy model, two Vactor 2112 HXX trucks, and two older units used mostly for industrial vacuum applications.

When the light rail expansion opens in 2014, Volk said he’ll have the satisfaction of knowing Goliath Hydro-Vac played an important role in improving mass transit in the Twin Cities, even if the results of the company’s work are invisible to the public.

“This job has kept our Prodigy HXX machine busy full time, mostly excavating utility crossings and clean-out stems on water mains,” Volk said. “We’ve been excavating at depths of 11 feet, working in some tight quarters. It’s a perfect situation for the Prodigy unit, because despite its smaller size, it’s a very productive unit. It’s like our little giant.”

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